tv [untitled] March 29, 2013 3:00am-3:30am PDT
york school of the university of law. i am proud of the tradition of civic pride and justice. >> san francisco has a legal obligation to provide adequate law library space for the needs of city and county of san francisco. it is a vital resource and a just (inaudible) public courts of law. i have been an active patron of the san francisco law library for the past 15 years and over that time i have become acutely aware of the need of each and every aspect of the law library, including the books, the internet resources the conference space and space for those members of the public and attorneys tho meet, as well as legal education for the public. before i was a member of the california bar, i relied upon the library for the legal research, access from 9 to 5,
work schedule preventing me from accessing it, i also helped friends who are not lawyers access the resource whens they were in a panic over their legal situations. when i became a legal professional, i became aware that every system has relied on the library, i i am aware that it is a vital resource for me to meet my ethical obligation to be competent in representing my clients. >> thank you. >> next speaker. >> my name is joan walsh and i am appellant attorney, my practice includes not only appeals but of course, doing research for a number of clients and a number of firms. the type of research that is as broad as the law is and sometimes the depth that you need to go into requires going back many years and has been noted in many different jurisdictions that is a
possibility. that type of research just is not available in private firms any more. i think that i could say that even about the large firms. so, a public library is absolutely essential for the practice of law. secondly, this is not a situation that effects just sole practitioners or appellant practitioners or the poor, or those who need to help themselves. every day, litigaters in san francisco are running over to the public library because sometimes has come up that they suddenly need a resource for, a case for, a form for, and it is absolutely essential for the practice of law. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker please? >> good morning. my name is ad win enseln and i am a attorney and practice with a small boutique tax firm.
the library serves a valuable purpose and i don't think that anybody disputes that. for our purpose as a small firm in the city we depend on the library for access to legal volumes. many of these are not available on-line and if the library does not have adequate space to house the collection we lose access to those volumes not only us but the members of the public as well. this will negatively impact our ability to practice law in san francisco, and people in san francisco ability to access the law, space is critical. in addition, to using the law library to access specific volumes, i and other members of my firm often visit to research topics by also studying other volumes in the same subject matter that are kept on the library shelves. there is not enough space for the library to display the full connection. this will be impossible as many volumes will be inaccessible.
space is critical and allows it for be accessible for the public and allows for the users to have room to study the law and to interact with the staff or with other lawyers or even with clients. space is really critical. i urge you to reconsider, the amount of space devoted to the library. >> thank you very much. next speaker please? >> good morning, my name is mary stats and i am a law librarian in the financial district law firm,vy worked in law firms in the financial district for 36 years and i have needed the san francisco law library constantly. they often fill in the gaps that we have in our library collection, in addition, in recent years, we have all had to cut back, nobody has any money. and one of the criteria that i
use is oh, well the san francisco law library has it so we can get rid of this. and we can get rid of that. recently my library moved to a space and lost a third of the collection, this 30,000 square feet that is san francisco library needs is not padded. this is the minimum that they need. if they have to get rid of those books, no one has them. there is a mistaking belief that everything is available on-line, everything is not available on-line and what is on-line is very expensive. it costs a lot and it is much easier to open a book and look at something than do a search on-line. the historical material is not on-line, you know. for many new lawyers, life starts in 1990. and nothing before that is important. i don't know what we would do without the library for history.
they helped us out with tracing the regulation back to 1952, which was a very crucial point in a case. thank you. >> next speaker. >> good morning, members of the subcommittee, my name is daniel labow i am practicing here in san francisco representing consume and hers small businesses within the community. i am also a san francisco resident. i like to echo the contentions of the last speaker. it is clear that not all law materials are on-line and not only historical, but materials that i have used in my daily practice. i started my law practice my own practice three years ago and i have consulted at least a half dozen books that would not be align and would be expensive to purchase. i also represent through the bar association of san
francisco, on a probono basis consumers who have been sued by debt collecters in performing my duties for those san francisco residents, i also conducted materials which are not available on-line. and finally i would like to raise a point which i don't thinks that been directly raised today which is even if the materials are on-line, it is necessary to have a print version for most of the public to address the issues. i'm of a generation where i learned in law school to access materials on-line. but before doing so, we learned to access them in print. and it is part of the thought process that makes it easier to sort of navigate the legal doctrine, if you are accessing materials in print. so i believe that less than 30,000 square feet community will be under served by the law library, thank you. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker, please?
>> my name is pricilla (inaudible) and i am a former lawyer of golden gate law and former director of the bar association of san francisco and former chair on the commission of women in san francisco. from my perspective of 40 years to enhance opportunity in the justice system i want to address the currently proposed widely inadequate space that is being proposed for the city law library, these kinds of cut backs in this era of cuts within the courts which i fwlaoefsh includes the advisor to (inaudible) clients, it seems to me that are denied minimal access to justice, for the vast majority of low income communities, including communities of color that are the most needful of legal service and most of who end up representing themselves. law libraries are among the very few institutions available to these groups and the attorneys seeking to serve them
and middle income individuals and small businesses, a couple of computer terminal cans not begin to replace the resources and books provided by the library and we all know that most useful on-line resources are expensive. the truth is on-line access is most often no access. >> it takes information professionals law librarians or experts on the hierarchy of the legal information to help to refine and he analyze the information for those unfamiliar with the law. it also takes physical space for books and for the use of those materials in which the legal resource ideas can be discussed and analyzed. the law schools are not available to the public, i would like to say as the city that is the most progressive in this country, that 30, to 35,000 feet is a small price to pay for equal access to justice. >> next speaker, please? >> good morning, my name is david (inaudible) and i practice labor and employment law in the city and also a
resident of the city. i prk in a small group of four other lawyers. i absolutely depend on the law library for on-line research and for reference works for (inaudible) which in turn lead to the backs that are on the shelves because it is prohibitive for us to be able to afford those materials. we are a small firm and our clients would not be able to afford any kind of these costs. other thing that i have noticed since i have been using the library, is how many lay people are using it and i have talked to some of them and it is amazing. it is really a revelation to me because i practiced for many years at firms that had all of those resources and i had no need to go to the library or we would get the librarian to get something from the library. i would urge you if you have not actually been to the law library to go there and see
what actually happens. and how vibrant of a space it is. that is a service that you need to expand not contract. thank you. >> thank you, very much. >> next speaker? >> good morning my name is adam (inaudible) and i am here to oppose the resolution and also to urge you to attach some great weight , to the lie breannes about what they need to serve the city's needs. i started to use this law library a couple of months ago when i took on a pro bono. the staff is knowledgeable and cap able but having used the law libraris in other cities it was apparent to me that this library resources are constricted. and they don't have the funding that they need and i think that is and i am talking
particularly about the both print and on-line resources and the space that is available. so, i think that is a great shame for the city and i just wanted to say that i know that the city and this committee has a lot of other pressing matters you know, housing and infrastructure and funding the arts, but you can't put a premium on justice, you can't have justice unless you know what the law is. you have have knowledge of that law and for many people including myself, and another under privileged people, the law library is the only source where you can get that knowledge. thank you. >> thank you. >> next speaker. >> good morning, my name is jennifer (inaudible) and i am an attorney i practice transactional entertainment and art law and represent artist and musicians authors and start up companies and entrepreneurs in 2006 i offered the law firm and i leased the space across from the financial branch and i used that regularly and i was
really upset when it was closed. the san francisco library requires adequate space and the failure to provide for it will have an adverse effect, and the clients that we serve in the community. there is no sab taout place for research, the libraries don't offer public access and some to alumni or students only. many are geared towards academic and not towards practice such as the practice that involve practice manuals that are important. access to the level levels the planning field. and it is no joke that many artist whens they start out are starving. the success comes later, it is often because they had legal assistance from reviewing the contracts presented to them. access to available to other members of the committee as you heard here today to research other issues such as disability and other issues. there is a waiting list for the computer's research purposes so
limiting space and computers and materials is not the way that you should be going. in practice i have to go up against much larger firms and negotiation and becausevy been well prepared with the information i have been able to represent them adequately. i respectfully request that you find adequate space and for the san francisco library, thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker. >> >> good morning, my name is steven, (inaudible) and i have lived in san francisco since 1947 and i opened a law fifrm and i am a regular user, i was reading the recorder this saturday and i saw a case and so i tried 1997 called dawn verses spine care and that case dealt with the code on human experimentation and caused the law in california for the citizen to have the right to
informed consent related to human experimentation on them >> in that case i used this law library for weeks to prepare for the trial. and i would not have have access in the 90s and we need that space and historical information for a free and honest society to go forward, a attorney cannot go against the big firms unless we have a law library that provides them with the materials to fight toe to toe. i urge you to adopt or not to adopt the 20,000 square foot measure and to in fact expand as much as possible, the law library, thank you. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker, please? >> good morning, supervisors, i'm jane cal and i am an employment lawyer with my own practice here in san francisco by way of background, i am 1993 graduate of ncu school of law and after which i join the country's premier law firms and about ten years ago in 2002,
with no budget, or resources on-line or off line, i was able to create a viable employment law practice focused on providing small to medium sized companies with advice, hr consulting and today my firm serves a myriad of small to medium sized companis from small restaurants and house cleaning company and it support service and medical and law, religious organization and bio technology companies and social mae companies and non-profit, healthcare organizations educational institution, including universities here in san francisco. none of this would have been possible without the staff and the resources both on-line and in print form that are available to the users of the
library that are free of charge. i think that i joined the chorus of voices that you hear today and the parade of other speakers. when they urge you on behalf of these small medium sized businesses and consumers themselves, who want to insure that the resources continue to be available and that you adequately fund it. san francisco prides itself on being a world class city. should we not want to have a world class law library at our use and exposal. >> thank you. >> next speaker, please? >> good morning, my name is rob, and i am an attorney here in san francisco. many of people that have spoken before me have spoken about the nature of the library, but i do want to address the issue of the resolution that is before you. as i am standing in line i look around at these chambers and i have to conclude that they seem
to be adequate for your needs here. and i don't mean just barely adequate. they seem to be well-suitd for your job, if you walk across the street, and look in the library there, i don't think that you will feel the same level of love and care that is around here. so i would say that there are two critical elements here that you need to consider in terms of adequacy. >> the first is that the space and the layout needs to be adequate for the function of the library. and i think that just common sense can help you determine that. and i think that the second thing is that accessibility also means proximity to the people and the purpose, which means that it should be accessible by public transportation and something near market street would be helpful and it certainly needs to be near the courts, which is where the people are gravitating that are in the
need of the library and so i asked you to look at those two considerations as you look at future space for light braer. and to please be generous and proud of your support of your san francisco law library. >> thank you. >> next speaker, please? >> my name is john murray and i have lived in san francisco since 1977. i have been using the law library since about 1980 or so, and i use it whenever the need arises, i am not a lawyer, i am simply a citizen of this country and a resident of san francisco. i have had many occasions to use the library and i don't do computers and i found that when i do computers i wind up with eye strain and headache and there are many things that i can do with the book such as lay the books out on a table, six or more if i need to and go back and forthwith the books and find it an easy way to deal with smaen subject and
especially the law. i have represented myself in overcoming a denial of unemployment insurance claim. and a personal injury slip and fall, and at the rent board where they are using unlicensed contractors and other times such as researching to better help my disabled 82-year-old friends. and there also an issue with the abc... (inaudible) and i could tell in most of those case, i would not know where to begin without the library and i would not have gotten involved. my life has been enriched
beyond measure because the law library exists and i urge you to maintain at least 30,000 with the help from the libraries. >> next speaker, please? >> my name is david lipson and i am an attorney here in san francisco and have practiced for over 40 years and graduated from harvard in 1971, and that school has the best law library of any school in the world. and i have had the 14 to be a clerk to a judge and work at the state public defender and all of those positions had ample access to legal resource and to law library and i am currently and i have been since 2000 for 13 years, a solo
practitioner and i want to subscribe to all of the comments that you have heard about the necessity of full-scale use of books, bolting for lawyers and the public, but i want in these two minutes to try to touch on a point that has been previously touched on and this goes back to the principals and that is how the lawyers think. now we have learned that the most important thing was to learn this think like a lawyer. when you graduate you know theory but you have no idea how to apply it to a case and the practice of law involves theory applied to facts, principals applied for exceptions and then exceptions to exceptions and so forth. there has been the implication that they are equal to books, but they are not. when you look at the head note
and you see under the statute the idea that you never thought of and that whole process is invaluable and that is what you get at looking at statutes and cases and looking back at tretuses and going back and forth you get that process with the books you don't duplicate that on-line which is based only on word searches and as you know, garbage in and garbage out. thank you very much. >> hello my name is michelle haze and i full time volunteer of the coalition of concern, legal professionals based in san francisco, cclp has two offices in san francisco, one on van ness and the other in bay view hunter's point one of the powerest communities in san francisco. i am here to protest the city's plan to down size the only public library left standing in
san francisco. and coalition and unincorporated association of attorneys, law skaouts and paralegals as well as students. we work with organizations of the lowest paid workers and domestic workers and service workers and farm workers who have no access to the legal system as they cannot afford the cost of legal recourse. whether it is hiring an attorney to provide advice on filing suit, in the courts of this city. all that have takes money and access to the information to make informed decisions and to bring complaints. already, the state has cut the budget for the small claims court resulting in san francisco county no longer hearing small claims cases. historically known as the people's court, because individuals could take their claim without an attorney to settle low legal problems, and they have gone the way of so
many services necessary for the people to exercise their rights. now you have proposed to that rink the law library, don't do it. >> as the economic conditions in this country worsen, we are finding more and more people coming to us for assistance who previously could afford to hire an attorney and access the courts. now an increasing number of people are having to navigate the way through the legal system depending on their own ability to find out the law. this is not the time to down size the resources available to assist in insuring the population and can exercise the constitutional right to petition the government. i urge this committee to hold to its promises of 18 years ago to give these law library adequate space. >> thank you. >> next speaker. >> hello, supervisors, my name is carlin gage and i am a native san franciscoan and
community residents and i am a member of (inaudible) and a community that utilizing this library, i am requesting, suggesting and verbally petitioning along with other ccerebral palsy members that just spoke before me, as a member of the community with social and economic justice. we are asking for adequate and sufficient space for everyone, for access to a public law library in san francisco. good morning. i am a native san franciscoan as well. and i have watched over the years the law library shrink from the last 30 years to where i represented prisoners in county jail as directing attorney of legal services as helping the sheriff's
department administration using the law library, and currently as a sole practitioner doing worker's comp for injured workers, but there are thousands that i am unable to help because the hours spent i could not possibly, i would be out on the streets as my kids have said. but i am able to always direct them to the law library. i am able to use the resources of the law library that i could not afford if i had to do it on my own and i urge you not to not cut the space any further than it has been done, thank you. >> good morning my name is ray sloan and i use the library on a regular basis and a friend of the coalition of concerned legal professionals. law library serves the low income community that concerned
professional or legal professionals and the organization deals with daily as well as those who previously could afford to hire attorneys and now cannot. the budget cuts are not being made in a vacuum, they are being made at a time of job and benefit losses and over all real loss of income among working people. this is hardly the time to cut yet another critical service. and with the current budget cuts, the state has made to the courts, we cannot afford to have access to the law library diminish because the city is not willing to provide enough floor space or even unback the (inaudible) and the city needs to live up to the promises that they made to the law library 18 years ago that it will find a location of sufficient space to meet the law library's needs. it is ironic that at the time that the state legislature is finally recognizing the need to assure access to legal representation for low income workers in civil cases by the passage of the act it also
recognizes that the pilot program can in no way meet the needs of the legal advice and the systems that it exists. the problems of down sizing the library space, is the same short sided thinking that per veils with the cuts and the court budgets that somehow shrinking will not matter. shutting down the access to the courts and to the law libraries might be acceptable if you are a fortune 500 company or are well off and you can hire a arbitration judge to arbitrate your problems at $500 to $1000 an hour but most people cannot afford that. >> coalition of concerned legal professionals... >> thank you. >> my name is tony cline and i own three businesss in san francisco, and i have been using the public library for about 35 years. i have